Let's try not to forget that security is there to protect us from them
And so once again in the wake of devastation, America rallies. Friends and foes, rights and lefts. Sweet Caroline at the Stadium, a group Star Spangled Banner at the Garden. We are one. It's all local, despite the locality.
One question: How long till we start hating each other again?
You know: Screaming damnation from soapboxes. The cheap I-told-you-so trumping meaningful discussion. Don't deny it. This is what we do now. This is why there's barely a murmur of common-denominator information anymore, too quickly replaced by the predispositions and prejudices of some loon writing it, blogging it or shouting it on agenda television.
But while we're all friends for the moment, let's ponder a snippet from the interfaith service in Boston on Thursday, a hope for recovery and memorial for the victims. One of the speakers quoted the Book of Hebrews, finding a passage of literal and figurative integrity for the day:
"Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us."
Let us, indeed.
And for purposes of the sports section, let's start here:
How about we accept and respect the role of security personnel at sporting events with renewed verve?
Many of us have. But it's that one creep who rolls the eyes at the idea of a bag check or pat down that just has no place here anymore. None. Zero. The rules continue to change, thus making every tentacle of safety, security and peace of mind paramount to living the way we want.
Security will be heightened at UConn's spring football game Saturday at Rentschler Field. The school sent a press release Thursday reminding fans "personal bags are not allowed into events at Rentschler Field, other than bags containing personal medical supplies."
I'd guess security will be enhanced for Connecticut Sun games this summer as well as concerts at Mohegan Sun.
At Fenway and Yankee Stadium, too.
My guess is security personnel would rather be home with their feet up than patting down patrons in a public place. Think of it this way: Hand gropes ensure grand hopes.
My fear, though, happens when the horror of Boston becomes, all in all, another brick in the wall. Some remember. Many forget. Life goes on. And then comes the next civil libertarian hyperventilating over the violation of Fourth Amendment, unreasonable searches and seizures, Constitutional rights, blah, blah, blah.
If you think I'm kidding: A few years ago, U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore upheld a Florida state court injunction that prevented the Tampa Sports Authority from performing pat-down searches on fans attending Tampa Bay Buccaneers games at Raymond James Stadium.
A high school civics teacher in Tampa sued the Tampa Sports Authority after he was patted down entering a Bucs game. The teacher sued with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Judge Whittemore wrote: "any reasonable person appreciates the potential harm that would result from a terrorist attack at the stadium. However, the gravity of the threat cannot alone justify the intrusiveness of a suspicionless search."
The gravity of the threat cannot alone justify the intrusiveness of a suspicionless search?
How many more movie theaters must become the O.K. Corral? And how many more bombs must explode at finish lines for the judge — and anyone else who concurs — to understand the gravity of the threats are hardly suspicionless anymore?
We all believe the Constitution is sacrosanct. But interpretations of it must evolve with time's passage and changing circumstances. Someone should alert the gun lobby the same concept applies to the Second Amendment. That's if the gun lobby isn't otherwise occupied threatening to pull money from some gutless politician's campaign.
But I digress.
I'm not thrilled with pat downs and bag checks at media entrances. I've yet to see the headline, "Sportswriter blows up building." But I'm always pleasant to the security folks. They are doing their jobs. Their jobs are the most important in the building. They should probably be paid commensurately. But that's a rant for another day.
I'm not saying we need to have National Hug A Security Person Day. But we need to respect them and their jobs now more than ever. Arrive at events earlier. Smile. Ask how they're doing. Be nice. Be respectful. Be polite.
You know. In the same spirit of Sweet Caroline at the Stadium.
That's how we evolve from the horror of Boston and move the country forward. One smile at a time.
This is the opinion of Day sports columnist Mike DiMauro.
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